Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for August 15, 2012

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DEADLINE: In five hours, it is the deadline to file for local offices in which no incumbent is running.

THE SCARLET LETTER

It only took a day for the Assembly GOP to grant the scarlet letter T to Brian Nestande, who joined with independent Nathan Fletcher Monday to support Speaker John Perez's tax hike on out-of-state businesses to fund middle-class scholarships. Nestande stepped down as Repubican Caucus Chair, the number two post of the minority party in the lower house. 

Nestande's district is safe, although the vote is likely a popular one in one of the economically hardest hit areas of California. The I-10 corridor was home to some of the fastest growth before the housing bust, and some of the greatest pain following it. Nestande, who's father was an Assembly Republican of the Ken Maddy school of moderates, has often been seen as one of the more moderate members of the caucus, although this was his coming out party.

The question obviously is whether Perez would have similarly ousted a member of his leadership for not voting for the bill, and the answer is that it's likely. The Assembly has a tradition of using leadership posts and physical office space to discipline members, although the Speaker's office isn't as strong as it was before term limits. In contrast, in the Senate, members are given longer leashes, evident by the fact that Mark DeSaulnier is still chair of Senate Transportation after voting against the number one transportation priority of the governor, Pro Tem and labor (high speed rail). 

That said, Democrats can oust rogue board members to limited consequence. Republicans need to be concerned that, like Nathan Fletcher, they aren't pushing more mods to leave the party, like so many voters have.

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WELCOME: A couple hundred subscribers joined the Nooner yesterday, mostly users of my free bill tracking service. I encourage you all to fill out the super-simple Nooner survey so I can tailor my daily rants to your wants. When I started this as a rant to a few friends, I never imagined nearly 6,000 folks would want to read my pre-dawn words daily.

RALLY IN THE VALLEY: There is a debate tonight between Howard Berman and Brad Sherman.

THE OTHER CAPITOL: Congressman Dennis Cardoza announced his resignation yesterday effective at midnight tonight, citing "increasing parenting challenges." A few hours after that press release, another came out saying that he was joining the D.C. office of law and lobbying behemoth Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. (He is not a lawyer.) Cardoza decided against reelection after he found himself redrawn in the same district as fellow Central Valley congressmen Jim Costa and Jeff Denham. Denham ran to the north, Costa ran to the south, and Cardoza ran to the exit.

Why resign now? If, as expected, there is a lame-duck session over sequestration and tax hikes that will happen December 31 absent congressional action, there will be a lobbying storm like no other.

CD15: Former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata endorsed Eric Swalwell against Congressman Pete Stark.

DEAD: SB 249 (Yee): Assault Weapons, which is the most followed bill on Around The Capitol, is being held by Assembly Appropriations, killing the bill for the year. 

POSSESSION IS 9/10ths OF THE LAW: Cities refuse to hand over redevelopment money [Chris Megarian @ LAT]

FLAUNT IT IF YOU'VE GOT IT: Molly Munger adds $5 million to her Prop. 38 warchest. That brings her total to $23,228,399.

TURNOUT: Why Democrats need to be scared and Republicans can be hopeful.

#YOLO: As Twitter is taken over by the #YOLO hashtag (You Only Live Once), those of us in Yolo County are responding.

BRAG: I try to seperate my "fun time" as author of The Nooner and CEO of the Community College League, but you just can't not smile at the story of Mars Curiosity landing director Adam Steltzner (aka "Elvis Hair Guy"). Adam, like me, "stopped going to high school" and found his way through community college. Oh, yeah, then he got a Ph.D. in physics and works at JPL. [Adam and Mohawk guy on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me]

EYE CANDY: The 30 Best GIFs of the Olympics [Buzzfeed]

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Betsy Butler is leaving AD66, and is running in AD50, the seat currently held by Julia Brownley. She will be succeeded by a man, either Craig Huey or Al Muratsuchi, in AD66.

P.S.: Thank you to The Nooner advertisers! I am sold out through September 7. Reserve your campaign season ads now!

REMINDER: I write The Nooner between 5:30-6:30AM. If you want to pimp your story, get it in by then.

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